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'WE DON'T WANT ANYONE ELSE TO DIE NEEDLESSLY'.

Byline: OLIVER RODERICK Reporter oliver.roderick@walesonline.co.uk

FRED Jackson gave the impression of being a fit-as-a-fiddle type of man.

In his daughter's words, he was "immune to health complaints", and hadn't visited a doctor in eight years.

Mr Jackson, from Llanelli, stayed at a hotel in Newquay, Cornwall, on a business trip in 2008. But his stay would cost him his life - carbon monoxide poisoning led to his death on April 19 at the age of 52.

His daughter, Emma Jackson-Phillips, an English teacher at Maesteg Comprehensive School, is now campaigning for awareness on the dangers posed by carbon monoxide - at home and away.

"[My father] mistook the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning for the symptoms of flu," said Emma.

"He told his colleagues he was feeling unwell when they phoned his hotel room and he apologised for being late to meet them. He never suspected his symptoms to be caused by carbon monoxide and this is why awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, as well as extra precautions when going on a trip away, even for a night, are so crucial."

The tragedy was made all the more difficult for Emma and her family as it took around a month for them to find out the cause of death following a post-mortem examination.

"I don't know how long he was exposed, but it took down someone so large and full of life," Emma said.

"He was getting ready to go and meet colleagues when he was taken ill. I don't know what time he got back to his hotel room. The hotel had had a refurbishment years ago.

"The shock bereavement was difficult enough. But, as a family, we had no idea what had caused it. We waited for the post-mortem, and the funeral was delayed by months. The uncertainty and the shock together made it difficult for us to get closure.

"Finding out it was carbon monoxide poisoning, such an unnecessary death, made it that much harder.

"We don't want anybody else to go through the pain that we've gone through. The 10-year anniversary of it happening was, of course, very difficult for us, but at the same time we know we've been getting the message about the carbon monoxide dangers out."

Emma is now set to run the New Forest Trail Marathon on September 9, which will be the 10-year anniversary of her father's death.

She and her family are hoping to use the event as part of their campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide.

"It's the tenth anniversary and the New Forest is the place where he used to take my brother and I on holidays as children," said Emma.

"There needs to be greater awareness of the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. The six main symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapse and loss of consciousness. A key indication that carbon monoxide [is present] is if symptoms disappear or get better when you leave the room and come back when you return.

"I feel that fitting carbon monoxide alarms in homes, offices, hotels and any other buildings should be as standard as having smoke alarms. I never go on holiday now without taking a carbon monoxide alarm with me, and I'd urge everyone who plans to go on holiday this year to take an alarm.

"Many CO alarms sold in the UK are portable, which means you can simply pop them into your suitcase and take them with you. I urge everyone to do so and to check that the alarm is in date."

Two men were fined for breaching gas safety regulations following a trial after Mr Jackson's death.

| More specialist information on carbon monoxide and its effects can be found at www.co-bealarmed.co.uk

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Emma Jackson with her father Fred, who died of carbon monoxide poisoning at a hotel in Newquay, Cornwall, in 2008
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Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 2, 2018
Words:656
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